Future Lions

Amplify with Spotify

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Future Lions 2024 invites young people to be heard with Spotify.

Entries are now open for Future Lions, the annual global competition in partnership with AKQA and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, celebrating young people’s bold and progressive ideas.

Future Lions 2024 is a call to action for young innovators to spread positivity by using technology to bring listeners closer to the creators and communities they love. Now in its 19th year, AKQA proudly unveils Spotify Advertising and The Wall Street Journal as this year’s supporting partners.

The Wall Street Journal delivers distinctive, first-rate reporting of the world’s most compelling stories across its suite of print, digital, video and audio offerings. For over 135 years, The Wall Street Journal has set the standard for rigorous, fair and trustworthy journalism that helps readers make better, more informed decisions in business, finance and life.

Today, upwards of 602 million Spotify listeners discover music tracks, podcasts and audiobooks across the platform. Research indicates that most of Spotify’s Millennials and Gen Z listeners view audio as a mental health resource, be that through mood-boosting music or community-based podcasts. In an increasingly noisy world, Spotify has emerged as an always-on companion, and a safe space for storytelling, inspiration and conversation starters.

The four winning team’s ideas will be revealed at Spotify Beach at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June 2024, with each team receiving the prestigious Future Lions trophy. One team will be honoured with the Future Lions Grand Prix, and the opportunity to collaborate with AKQA and Spotify to make their creative vision a reality.

Future Lions 2024 - Smile Option 1

“The best brands are surprising and delighting their audiences every day,” said Grace Kao, Global Head of Advertising Business Marketing at Spotify. “From our AI DJ to personalised Daylists with titles like ‘cowboy lyrical sunset’ or everyone’s favourite Wrapped, Spotify is fully committed to creating delightful moments for brands, creators, and listeners alike. This creativity isn’t, and shouldn’t, be siloed to boardrooms and that is why we’re excited to be partnering with the Future Lions to build something playful that hopefully brings people joy.”

“At The Wall Street Journal, we equip audiences with information that empowers them to reach their goals and aspirations every day,” said Phillipa Leighton-Jones, SVP and Global Head of Studio & Creative for The Trust at Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal. “Creative thinking plays a critical role in how we connect and build relationships with one another and we could not be more delighted to collaborate with Future Lions to inspire the next generation of creative leaders.”

AKQA Chief Creative Officer Diego Machado said: “Future Lions is a testament to our belief that the next generation of visionaries shapes the future. We’ve evolved the competition to be deeply rooted in real-life relevance to empower them to make a tangible impact with their ideas. We could not envision a more fitting collaborator than Spotify to lead the charge into the next phase of the Future Lion’s legacy.”

This year’s competition sees the advent of the Tom Bedecarré School of the Year Award in honour of Tom Bedecarré, AKQA’s Chairman Emeritus, as part of AKQA’s 30th anniversary year celebration. From 2024, the award will recognise schools, academies and educational centres that demonstrate a proven and pioneering approach to broaden access and leverage technology to amplify impact, no matter the enrollment size or number of shortlisted entries in the competition.

Future Lions has become one of the most coveted honours for emerging talent in the design, creative and advertising industry. 2023 saw 525 schools across 89 countries enter the competition. For the first time in the competition’s history, last year saw two winning teams awarded the Future Lions Grand Prix.